Senin, 01 Agustus 2011

The Benefits Of Fasting

In the spring of 1957 I was managing the airport in Point Barrow, Alaska, the main supply site and a scene of heavy air traffic during the construction of the Distant Early Warning Line radar stations along Alaska’s northern coast. Working 50 to 60 hours a week, I hadn’t taken a day off for nearly a year and was scraping the bottom of the energy barrel. Overweight, irritable, tired all the time and feeling much older than my 34 years, I decided that a vacation was a necessity. Not just any vacation, however. I went to a health resort near Escondido, California, and fasted for two weeks under the direction of a physician. I drank as much water as needed but ate nothing at all for 14 days.


Before this I had tried a few short fasts of three or four days on my own but had never gone longer than that with only water. James McEachen had supervised many fasts and understood what to look for. He told me to take no exercise but simply to rest and sunbathe during the day and to drink water whenever I was thirsty. About the fifth day without food I developed a sore throat, my back began to ache and my teeth hurt. Dr. McEachen explained that this was a healing crisis: my body was cleansing itself of toxic substances. About the tenth day these symptoms cleared up.

With McEachen’s guidance I broke the fast on the 14th day. This was a crucial point. A fast has to be ended properly and carefully or there can be painful and dangerous complications. I was given small amounts of orange juice every three hours for two days and then allowed to eat whole fruit for another two days. After this I was given more substantial food on a regular meal time schedule. I stayed there for a week after I resumed eating and then returned to my job in Point Barrow feeling 1,000 per cent better than when I left. Continue reading

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